Activity
    • 16 Nov 2018

    Prevent Valve Delamination in Conventional Power Plants

    Author: Paolo Tomaini Conventional power plants are being disrupted by an increasing demand for renewable energy. The priority in providing energy to the grid associated with the intermittent intrinsic nature of the renewable energy output is creating a shift from base-load power down to cycling in traditional plants and causing failures. The demand for renewables is only expected to grow over the next few decades...
    • 13 Nov 2018

    What Digital Transformation Could Mean for a Combined Cycle Plant

    Author: Douglas Morris The growth of renewables and distributed energy resources are challenging the traditional economic models of the utility industry. A growing school of thought in power generation is that embracing some form of digital transformation could very well provide an avenue for better economics. The problem is, though, that digital transformation has been ill defined and the focus is on “the technology...
    • 6 Nov 2018

    Digital Technologies for Improving Power Plant Operations

    Author: Douglas Morris There’s a lot of talk in the industry about the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digital transformation, and digital technologies. There is enough interest, though, among utility executives in the promise of digital technologies–which typically includes some combination of wired and wireless sensors for monitoring, sophisticated algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence...
    • 29 Oct 2018

    Enabling Seamless and Scalable Distributed Control and SCADA Solutions at Photovoltaic Power Stations

    Authors: Tom Snowden , Greg Schirm Photovoltaic power stations (or solar parks) have traditionally used PLCs as their preferred control devices. Size, ruggedness, and cost are often cited as reasons for using PLCs. With the release of the Ovation Compact Controller , Emerson is merging the scalability of PLCs with the power of the Ovation distributed control system on photovoltaic (PV) solar projects. The compact...
    • 31 Jul 2018

    Power Generation Improved Steam Temperature Control

    Emerson’s Jeff Williams presented, Holistic Approach to Steam Temperature Control, at the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference. Jeff opened describing the trend of plants being started and operated more frequently than in the past due to intermittent sources of renewable energy sources on the grid. A key challenge to this mode of operation is to maintain consistent superheat temperature in this transient environment...
    • 30 Jul 2018

    Advanced Startup Automation in the Power Industry

    At the 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference, a power producer shared their story of how they improved their unit startups through the application of advanced technology. The US electrical power grid is evolving rapidly as it adds more renewable generation from solar and wind energy sources. This trend is driving the need for large generating fleets to make their current assets flexible and cost competitive. Important...
    • 20 Jul 2018

    Improving Control System Alarm Effectiveness for Operators

    During the week of July 29 through August 3, I’ll be attending the Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh. This users’ group is composed of people working in the power, water and wastewater industries. If you’re in one of these industries and an Ovation distributed control system user, I look forward to seeing you there. One of the critical parts of an effective control strategy is to get the alarm design right...
    • 12 Jul 2018

    Integrated Control and Machinery Health Monitoring for Power Producers

    The power industry is facing many challenges today with cycling demands from a growing renewable energy mix on the grid, employee retirements, and cost cutting. Despite these challenges, consumers expect a reliable supply of electricity. At the July 29 – August 2, 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh, Emerson’s Jason King and an Ovation customer will present, Ovation Machinery Health Monitor Update &...
    • 11 Jul 2018

    Reduce Boiler Tube Leaks with Better Steam Temperature Control

    As the contribution of renewable energy sources grow on electrical power grids, so does the cycling its intermittency creates for power producers. This cycling affects steam used to drive the generators. For power stations where the electric generators are steam-driven, this steam is created by coal, nuclear, geothermal, solar thermal, waste incineration and sometimes natural gas. Boiler tube leaks caused by frequent...
    • 28 Jun 2018

    Applying Center for Internet Security ICS Cybersecurity Controls

    Power, water and wastewater utilities are critical infrastructure, and require ongoing industrial control system (ICS) cybersecurity risk reduction efforts. Taking a systematic and integrated approach to ICS cybersecurity can help with safe, reliable and efficient operations. Many experts from these industries will gather at the July 29-August 2, 2018 Ovation Users’ Group Conference in Pittsburgh . There they will...
    • 1 Jun 2018

    Improving Level Control in Combined-Cycle and Coal-Fired Power Plants

    Levels of intermittent, renewable sources of energy for the electrical grids around the globe continue to grow. Power plants designed for more consistent, base load operation are under greater stress. In this recorded Power magazine webcast, Optimizing Level Control for Maximum Reliability and Efficiency in Combined Cycle and Coal Plants , Emerson’s Matthew Brummer joins moderator and Power magazine executive...
    • 6 Apr 2018

    Real-Time Microgrid Control and Optimization at The University of Texas

    At my alma mater, The University of Texas , here in Austin, Texas, is the Carl J. Eckhardt Combined Heating and Power (CHP) Complex . It is often described : …as the largest and most integrated microgrid in the U.S…. [It] is capable of generating 135 MW (megawatt) power (63 MW peak) and 1.2 million lb/hr (pounds per hour) of steam (300,000 peak). I mention all this because the microgrid controller is powered...
    • 21 Mar 2018

    Lessons from Fast Track Gas Turbine Generators Control System Retrofit Project

    Earlier this week, we shared how integrated control systems connected with turbine generators and other associated process areas, can improve overall efficiency and reliability for electrical power producers. Continuing on this theme, a Combined Cycle Journal article, Checklist for success: NV Energy commissions seven turbine DCSs in seven weeks , highlighted a fast track gas turbine retrofit project covering two...
    • 21 Mar 2018

    Lessons from Fast Track Gas Turbine Generators Control System Retrofit Project

    Earlier this week, we shared how integrated control systems connected with turbine generators and other associated process areas, can improve overall efficiency and reliability for electrical power producers. Continuing on this theme, a Combined Cycle Journal article, Checklist for success: NV Energy commissions seven turbine DCSs in seven weeks , highlighted a fast track gas turbine retrofit project covering two...
    • 19 Mar 2018

    Driving Turbine Generator Efficiency Improvements

    A combination of more plentiful natural gas from shale formations, more global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to transport it globally, and global political pressure to reduce carbon emissions has been shifting the mix of fuel sources for electrical power generation. Here in the U.S., natural gas has surpassed coal as the leading source of fuel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration . Natural...
    • 19 Mar 2018

    Driving Turbine Generator Efficiency Improvements

    A combination of more plentiful natural gas from shale formations, more global liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities to transport it globally, and global political pressure to reduce carbon emissions has been shifting the mix of fuel sources for electrical power generation. Here in the U.S., natural gas has surpassed coal as the leading source of fuel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration . Natural...
    • 8 Mar 2018

    Electrical Power Disruptions, Innovations and Changing Business Models

    The sources of electrical power for the grid continues to shift toward decentralization as renewable energy sources are connected. At CERAWeek 2018, Emerson’s Bob Yeager joined a panel hosted by IHS Markit’s Philippe Frangules , Electric power: Disruption, innovation & new business models. The panel was joined by leaders from Duke Energy, 38 North Solutions and Innogy SE. The panel’s focus was: As distributed sources...
    • 8 Mar 2018

    Strategies for Power Generators in a Low-Carbon World

    With the global push to reduce carbon emissions, electrical power producers are challenged find non-hydrocarbon fuel sources and maintain reliable grid operations. At CERAWeek 2018, Emerson’s Power & Water Solutions business president, Bob Yeager , joined a panel moderated by IHS Markit’s Catherine Robinson . The panel also included leaders from E.ON, Norsk Hydro and Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES)....
    • 26 Feb 2018

    Cybersecurity Guidance at ConnectedPlant Conference

    This week, the ConnectedPlant conference is being held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The conference is focused for professionals in the chemicals and power industries who are leading digital transformations in their organizations. The focus includes: …actionable information and strategies to maximize the use of data, analytics, and related technology to drive efficiency improvements, preventative and predictive...
    • 9 Feb 2018

    Increasing Combined Cycle Gas Turbine Efficiency and Reliability

    The electrical power generation mix continues to shift to increasing natural gas usage due to growing supplies from shale gas production. In a Power article, How to Increase Power Plant Asset Reliability Using Modern Digital Technology , Emerson’s Juan Panama describes how combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) plants are using digital technologies to increase levels of reliability and efficiency. He opens describing a...
    • 21 Nov 2017

    #POWERGEN 2017 Preview: Helping Power Generators Address the Skills Gap

    Author: Douglas Morris A January 2017 report from the U.S. Energy Department states: Workforce retirements are a pressing challenge. Industry hiring managers often report that lack of candidate training, experience, or technical skills are major reasons why replacement personnel can be challenging to find—especially in electric power generation. The wave of retirements has been talked about for years and...
    • 16 Nov 2017

    #POWERGEN 2017 Preview: Flexible Operations

    Author: Douglas Morris The new plants that are coming online today are already designed for fast start and flexible operations. With the changing generation mix, being able to move a unit is essential as fleets dispatch more renewables. But what about older plants that were designed to operate as baseload generation? Sometimes units must be mechanically retrofitted to be able to better participate in the market...
    • 9 Nov 2017

    #POWERGEN 2017 Preview: Microgrids and Controls

    Author: Douglas Morris Microgrids are collections of generating sources that are coupled to operate as one either connected to or disconnected from (islanded) the main power grid (sometimes called the macrogrid). Being able to independently provide one’s power is becoming popular with standalone entities like colleges or universities, military bases, and remote locations. Hawaii is embracing microgrids and has recently...
    • 8 Nov 2017

    Automating Combined-Cycle Power Generation Startups

    In combined cycle power plants : …the heat of the gas turbine’s exhaust is used to generate steam by passing it through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) with a live steam temperature between 420 and 580 °C. The condenser of the Rankine cycle is usually cooled by water from a lake, river, sea or cooling towers . Over the past decades, combined cycle power plants were built to handle base electrical loads...
    • 6 Nov 2017

    Industrial Internet of Things and Electric Utilities Fleet Management

    Electric utilities must carefully manage their fleet of power generation facilities to improve energy efficiency, reduce emissions, meet regulatory requirements and operate safely. Enabling Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies provide an opportunity to more effectively manage these fleets than has been possible before. Jonas Berge accepts Best Paper Award – Digitalization track at 2017 PowerGen Asia conference...